Blockchain technology provides a decentralized, secure way to store and manage data, enabling new levels of transparency and collaboration that transform strategies and operations. With blockchain technology, organizations can create a shared, tamper-proof database to track transactions, assets, and interactions among parties. This provides a single source of truth that everyone can trust, eliminating the need for costly intermediaries and manual reconciliation. But leaders must take a strategic approach to ensure that their organizations can reap the full benefits of this transformational technology.
How we think about leadership is changing, and blockchain technology plays a significant role. In the past, leaders have been in charge of centralized organizations with top-down decision-making. But as we move into the digital age, decentralized systems are becoming more popular.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently stated at his government’s blockchain summit, “It is clear that we cannot ignore this potential while we are preparing for the Century of Turkey. We want to be the country that uses this tool.” Erdoğan’s remarks underscore that leadership is changing, and countries must evolve with the times or risk being left behind. As such, leaders must adapt because there are four ways in which blockchains will impact their roles in the years to come:
1. Increased transparency will lead to more accountable leaders
According to a recent IBM study, senior executives believe blockchain technology will significantly increase managerial transparency, making it easier for leaders to be held accountable for their actions. “Blockchain enables all transactions will be stored on a public ledger that anyone can view,” agreed Serge Baloyan, CEO and founder of x10 agency—a Web3 firm—in an email. He believes the aforementioned transparency will level the playing field between employers and employees. “In the past, information asymmetry has typically favored the employer,” said Baloyan. “But with a blockchain, employees can track their progress and performance, therefore garnering a better understanding of opportunities for advancement within their company.”
2. Decentralized decision-making will give employees more power
In a decentralized system, power is distributed among the many rather than concentrated in the hands of a few. A shift will give employees more power and control over their careers because no central authority controls the network. Instead, decisions can be made by consensus. This view is asserted by research undertaken by Nadia Zahoor from the Queen Mary University of London. “Decentralization of power will grant employees more say in how their company is run,” said Zahoor in an interview. In the past, employees have often been at the mercy of their leaders. But with a blockchain, she believes employees will have a direct say in decisions. “This will effectuate a more democratic workplace where everyone has a voice,” said Zahoor.
3. Improved efficiency will result in more productive leaders
A study undertaken by Deloitte found that blockchains improve business efficiency because the technology can automate many processes, freeing up time for leaders to focus on other tasks. This benefit aligns with a view held by Bryan Ritchie, CEO of Simba Chain, who said, “Blockchain’s inherent transparency offers large-scale organizations the visibility they need to optimize workflows” in an email. Ritchie believes this operational improvement will improve efficiency. “By using blockchain, businesses can remove third-party intermediaries, which often add unnecessary cost and delay”. He added, “The improved efficiency and reduced costs that blockchain technology offers will help to empower leaders and give them the resources they need to make better decisions.”
4. New leadership models will emerge
As blockchain technology evolves, new leadership models will emerge, such as the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) and the holacracy. The DAO is a decentralized organization run by a set of rules encoded on the Ethereum blockchain. Anyone can contribute to the DAO, and decisions are made democratically, meaning “they’re becoming a prominent force in empowering ordinary company stakeholders with decision-making abilities and integrating unprecedentedly accurate market demand statistics into every move,” said Max Krupyshev, CEO at CoinsPaid—a payment gateway service provider—in an email. Holacracy, on the other hand, is a decentralized way of organizing companies and making decisions. It’s based on the principle of democracy, enabling employees to have a say in how a company is run, which, according to Krupyshev, is a significant step forward in developing corporate governance. “In the near future, we’ll likely see traditional companies implementing these new technologies in their corporate structure, helping them to be more efficient and agile, as well as improve transparency and communication,” he said.
In summary, blockchain technologies will lead to many changes in the years to come. We can expect to see new leadership models emerge, new skills required of leaders, and a more collaborative decision-making style. Those who can embrace these changes will be in a better position to succeed. As such, leaders need to start preparing now because, at the end of the day, that’s what leadership is all about: being prepared for what’s next.